The View - October 2016
VicForests CEO career move
VicForests CEO Robert Green announced on Friday 7 October that he will be leaving VicForests to pursue a career opportunity in New Zealand.
Mr Green will be taking on the position as CEO of Kaingaroa Timberland, one of the oldest and largest softwood plantation in the world, and will remain with VicForests until the end of November 2016.
Michael Humphris, Chair of VicForests Board, said that the VicForests Board has asked Nathan Trushell to step in to cover the CEO role while they embark on the formal recruitment process to find a replacement for Mr Green.
"Handover between Robert and Nathan will occur during November and the Board has every confidence that Nathan and our Senior Management team will manage this transition effectively.
"On behalf of the VicForests Board, I congratulate Robert on his appointment and wish him every success.
"While it is sad to see Robert departing our shores it is encouraging to see the talented people within the Victorian timber industry being sought by others for their skills and experience. Indeed, he will remain part of our industry albeit it in New Zealand.
"The recruitment process to find a permanent replacement for the role of VicForests CEO will begin shortly.
"I wish to thank all of you for your commitment and contribution to our industry and we look forward to continuing to work together with you," Mr Humphris said.
Spot-tailed Quolls found in Bendoc
Two rare and threatened Spot-tailed Quolls have been discovered in the Bendoc region in East Gippsland.
Spot-tailed Quolls are the largest carnivorous marsupial on mainland Australia, they are easily identified by their brown coats, with conspicuous white spots over their body and tail. The species is currently classified as endangered on mainland Australia.
The detections are only the second time the species has been found in over five years of VicForests pre-harvest surveys.
Dr Chela Powell, Manager, Biodiversity Research & Development for VicForests said this discovery is very significant as detections of these animals have been quite rare in recent years across East Gippsland.
“This is an exciting find. We captured images of what appears to be two different Spot-tailed Quolls on remote, infra-red cameras during one of our targeted pre-harvest fauna surveys.
“Before this discovery there had only been one sighting in over five years of pre-harvest surveys by across the East Gippsland region,” Dr Powell said.
VicForests ensures that important biodiversity values, including threatened species such as Spot-tailed Quolls, are identified and appropriately protected from timber harvesting operations. This includes engaging independent ecologists to conduct targeted surveys in areas planned for harvest on sites which are most likely to contain threatened species.
“When a Spot-tailed Quoll is detected in an area planned for harvest, VicForests works with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to create a Special Management Plan to protect the animal from any harvesting operations.
“The area that contains the most ideal habitat for the species is reserved and excluded from harvesting operations,” Dr Powell said.
The planning stage of any harvesting operation is a long and detailed process that can take over a year to complete.
“Targeted threatened species surveys are part of our planning process that is undertaken before any harvesting operations occur.
“The Spot-tailed Quoll plays an ecologically important role as Victoria’s largest native predator,” Dr Powell said.
VicForests is committed to managing state forest to protect important forest habitat and to regrow the forest after harvesting to allow threatened species persistence in the long-term.
Strathbogies harvesting operations
A low intensity timber harvesting operation is set to begin in the Strathbogies State forest once weather conditions permit.
VicForests’ General Manager Planning, Nathan Trushell, said the operation will use the single-tree selection harvesting method.
“Single-tree selection harvesting is different from other harvesting methods as it removes a much smaller number of trees from an uneven aged forest.
“This style of harvesting has been chosen as a result of discussions between VicForests and the local community that have taken place over a number of years.
“Trees of different ages are selected for harvesting based on their diameter and condition with smaller and younger trees retained to grow on to the next harvest and older trees left for future species habitat.
“Both good quality trees will be removed for sawlog, to produce high quality timber flooring and furniture, and poorer quality mature trees will be removed to allow the younger trees to become future sawlogs.
“The intention of selective harvesting operations is to leave behind an uneven aged forest once harvesting has been completed and remaining trees are either retained as habitat trees or to continue to grow on,” he said.
Mr Trushell said there has been a history of timber harvesting in the Strathbogies since the late 1800s however there has been no harvesting in the area since 2006/07.
“Some members of the community have expressed their concern about harvesting recommencing in the Strathbogies and requested a moratorium on all timber harvesting activities in the forest.
“We are unable to commit to no harvesting at all in the area as this would impact on our ability to meet our contractual obligations.
“But as a result of our discussions with the community and the concerns that have been raised, we have chosen to use the single-tree selection harvesting method,” he said.
“The forest on the site will be re-established through a combination of retained trees, natural seedfall from these retained trees and proactively sowing native seed where needed. “If any further work is required to ensure the area has successfully regrown, we will continue to treat the site until it has regenerated,” Mr Trushell said.
The area to be harvested is around 27 hectares which will take around six weeks to complete.
VicForests carries out biodiversity and high conservation value assessments in all areas planned for harvest to identify and protect key ecological communities, threatened species and/or their habitat.
VicForests on Going Bush Channel 7
The latest episode of Channel 7's Going Bush recently aired on 7TWO and featured VicForests' pre-harvest survey process.
Going Bush is a series that tells the story of Australia’s forestry industry to an audience of around 100,000 viewers across the country.
This latest episode looks into how VicForests conducts its surveys in areas planned for harvesting. VicForests staff follow a rigorous planning process and look for a range of criteria before engaging external ecologists to survey for threatened species.
Some of the species that VicForests surveys have detected So far include Long-footed Potoroos, Spot-tailed Quolls, threatened owl's, Greater Gliders and Spiny Crayfish. VicForests surveys have also contributed towards the hundreds of Leadbeater's Possum detections.
The second episode of Going Bush will feature VicForests' community forestry operations which are based in north-west Victoria. This episode will be aired on Channel 7TWO this Saturday 15 October at 2pm and will be available afterwards to view online at Yahoo7.
McFall Fuel and VicForests show safety leadership
Leaders from VicForests and McFall Fuel in New Zealand are keen to show leadership in the forest industry by being proactive in safety and becoming partners in the Forest Industry Safety Summit conference series in Rotorua and Melbourne.
Click here to read the full article (sourced from Scoop NZ) - http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1609/S00536/mcfall-fuel-and-vicforests-show-safety-leadership.htm
Royal Melbourne Show
VicForests had a display at the Royal Melbourne Show this year as a part of our on-going sponsorship of the woodchop events run by the Victorian Axemen’s Association.
The event was very successful with many visitors and stakeholders visiting our staff at the display.
Some of VicForests contractors, Brad, Kyle and Blake Meyer, competed in the wood chop event and took home a number of ribbons from the events they competed in.
It is important to VicForests that we continue to support local community events like the Royal Melbourne Show as they attract many people from the timber industry and rural communities where VicForests operates.
VicForests Melbourne office relocation
VicForests Melbourne Corporate Support Office has recently moved office locations to Level 12, 461 Bourke Street.
The reason for the move follows the end of our lease at 473 Bourke Street and the relocation of many staff from the CSO office to the Head Office in the Yarra Valley.
The move has gone smoothly and all systems are up and running again.
All contact details will remain the same including phone numbers and the Post Office address.